Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Marathon Part 2: The Road STILL not taken by many

Hi guys! Happy November!! Can you believe it?? We ended up with 251 trick or treaters last night!! INSANE! We would've ended up with more but we were starting to run low on candy so we turned the lights off and hid out in the back of the house. More pics and stuff from Halloween later, it's time to talk marathon now!

So, with a Yee haw we were off. Actually we were all a bit confused! Lots of "Oh, was that the start?" were buzzing around. Brent and I were towards the back so we jogged towards the start line (a chalk line on the pavement) and our marathon journey had officially begun. We started out slow, no reason for hurry, and within the first mile we were already headed up a small incline. For some reason my calves were tight from the beginning. Great! I think I was a little underhydrated - I normally drink a TON of water every day, but with Friday's impending (and then VERY long car ride) I had laid off the water to avoid small town gas station detours. Mile 1 ticked off in 10:07. Mile 2 carried us up our first steep hill, as we were headed up it we were neck and neck with another young girl. Brent yelled out "This is the last hill, right??" to lots of amusement. We were both starting to warm up but the wind was a real pain. I ditched one arm warmer at Mile 2 water stop, 9:55. I guess when you're creating a small town marathon you have to come up with some strange little off-shoots to end up with 26.2 miles. We took a little out and back detour down a small country road. It was nice to see the faster people ahead of us. We turned around in the middle of one of the roads, and the girl we had joked with earlier nearly missed the turnaround! She was in her own headphoned world and a volunteer had to run after her to catch her. Ha! Mile 3: 9:54 After the turn around we were back in the wind. Why does it seem like the wind works against you at every direction?? The leaves were gorgeous out there, and the scenery was so rural. There were cows everywhere kept in their farmland by electric fences. Brent knows me SO well and he warned me NOT to touch the fence. But it's so intriguing!! How hard do those things shock anyway??? Mile 4: 9:53 Mile 5: 10:07. We headed into a large park around Mile 5. Once again we got to see the faster runners coming back out. The course ran through some beautiful fall foliage and then down around a lake and back. It was pretty cruel, you had to do all these little jaunts out and back and then around before you got to leave the park. Mile 6: 9:40. Once we left the park we had more small rollers, and within miles 7-9 we hit the largest of the hills. Just when you thought you had reached the peak you just kept on climbing. I was really surprised how well we were doing on the hills, we were keeping our overall 10 min pace and we weren't getting that fatigued. Compared to the hills we'll have at the Monkey most of these were nothing, but they were definitely still challenging! Mile 7: 10:17 Mile 8: 10:40 There was a waterstop right near the highest point of the course (somewhere in Mile 8) we walked through the waterstop and confirmed we had made it to the highest point. Yeah!! All of the volunteers were SO nice. It was pretty crappy outside with the chill in the air and the wind, but they were all so happy and constantly thanking us for coming out. Once we made it to the top we enjoyed some smaller hills and some cows stuck in "mud". Brent keeps reminding me that is NOT mud, and it certainly did NOT smell like mud. We were VERY careful not to trip and fall in there ! UGH!! Mile 9: 9:49. Once we left the cows we came upon an older couple (maybe late 50's/early 60's) wearing matching 50 states shirts. We ran with them and talked for a while. They've done 78 marathon together!! Can you even imagine? I guess once you tackle 50 you might as well keep going! She said her favorite was Marine Corps, and her least favorite had been Delaware! She also highly recommended Big Sur for its beautiful scenery. She was starting to struggle a bit so we wished them well and kept on trucking. Mile 10: 9:49, Mile 11: 9:45. The last two miles of the loop had some seriously steep hills in it. The 50 states couple had warned us about the last few hills and they were RIGHT. To me they were tougher than the climb to the highest elevation. They were sharper and steeper. I was already starting to get a little tired so I knew when those hills came at the very end it wouldn't be easy. Mile 12: 9:29 Mile 13: 9:41. The cruel twist of fate here was that you actually had to cross the start/finish line again and turn around and do it all over again. How mean is that??? You cross the line, people are cheering, and you have to say "We've got to do it again!" Pure Evil!! We chugged back out slow and steady. Within Mile 14, as we were going back up the initial hill and dog came tearing out chasing a truck. UGH! This has been the first race where I've wished I had my Dazer! Mile 14: 9:55. We walked our first hill during Mile 15. It was a really steep one and now that we had run the course once I wanted to save our legs and walk that one, the top part of the highest ascent, and then some towards the end. There were NO spectators for this race - NONE! Some volunteers at the top of the hill (their waterstation) cheered wildly for us to make it! All of the volunteers were so energetic, but it would have been nice if some townspeople had come out. We also never found a sign with our names on it! Bummer!!! We found a sign for a "Brenton" so we decided that would have to be close enough. There were plenty of other signs - and a LOT of "Git-R-Dones". Mile 15: 10:44 We headed back down the little offshoot and back out. The wind was NUTS. It was feeling colder than it had been all day and I was starting to think about putting my gloves back on. Mile 16: 9:30 We headed back in the park, seeing the faster people once again, and made our final lake lap. On our way back out we saw the 50 states couple, just plodding along. Mile 17: 9:48. Once we left the park I knew it was time for the highest point ascention. We took it slow and easy, and Brent was starting to fall back a little. We walked up some parts of the hill. Mile 18: 10:29 Mile 19: 10:47. Brent started telling me to go on without him at this point, but after watching the 50 states couple I just didn't want to. We had started together and we should finish together. I wasn't in it for time, just for the training experience of it. I slowed down to his pace and tried to be as motivating as possible. Mile 20: 11:29. Mile 21 had the worst portion of the hills, 13:17. Brent was really starting to feel the distance at this point. Mile 22 had us back past the cows for the last time (ugh the smell was worse the second time around). Mile 22: 12:32. I was trying to think of anything to keep Brent moving, and to keep pushing himself. I offered to sing, and I asked him what he wanted to treat himself with after the race. I said I planned to eat a bag of Cheetos. He said he planned to get trashed! Mile 23: 11:43. By this point a lot of the volunteers had already taken down their water stations or just left them. I know it's no fun to stay out there in the cold wind, but come on! Not everyone is doing the half!! I saw an unmanned station with lots of goodies on it during the 24th mile. I jogged ahead to check it out and spied a little bag of mini Oreos. SCORE! If anyone ever asks me what one of my fave races has been I always say Memphis. They have all the pizza, beer, soup and OREOS you could want in the finishers area. (The Pig also has Oreos!). I took the Oreos and headed back over to Brent to show him my loot. He wasn't very excited. He wasn't in a happy place. I would jog ahead and then jog back to encourage him. My legs were getting tired, my back was hurting, but my main job was to keep him moving so we could get out of that weather! Mile 24: 11:32. I ate those Oreos like nobody's business. The whole little bag in maybe 4 or 5 minutes. I have a pretty weak running stomach, I've been really lucky this training cycle in that seems my body has gotten used to this distance running thing. That is until I cram a bunch of OREOS down the chute! Ugh, around the final water stop at Mile 25 I wasn't feeling so hot, but here we were - the FINAL mile!! Mile 25: 12:36 (lots of hills there so we had done some walking). I was REALLY trying to pump Brent up the final mile. Finishing your first marathon is HUGE but he was in a pretty grouchy place. I kept telling him how you never have another "first" marathon "GOOD!" and to just visualize the finish line up ahead and picture the medal, but I wasn't getting much back. At one point he snapped at me and said "At YOUR first marathon YOU got a medal that SPINS AND YOU got to lay on the beach for a few days." Errrr......ok. We kept charging on, and before we knew it we had reached the top of the FINAL steep hill and could see the finish line down below. We pushed and pushed and pushed and Mile 26: 11:44, total watch time 4:36:41. 10:35 pace.

We made it to the finish line to the cheering crowd of.....10 or so people. Very few of the other participants had even stuck around. A lady welcomed us at the finish line and THEN wrote down our time after quizzing us on the course and how challenging it was. Our real time is something between 4:40-4:45, not the 4:50 she wrote down. I have my watch set to stop when I stop, and there were a few times I totally stopped and waited on Brent, I can see it being a total of 5-10 minutes, not 15-20. We grabbed some juice and then headed back to our car. Brent was a marathoner! I was a 2nd time marathoner! I was tired but nowhere near as tired as after Miami. I really think if I had run my own race I could've beaten my Miami time which is nuts considering how tough this course was.

Our super cute marathon was in the books. Now it was time to ATTEMPT to find our way home.....

And Blogger is being super rude uploading photos tonight so the rest of the race pics are here.

Good night!

16 Comments:

At 9:16 PM, Blogger E-Speed said...

Yay! Fun race report! Poor Brent! I hope he is happy now that he is finished! 4:40 isn't too shabby for all the hills and the lack of spectators!

 
At 10:57 PM, Blogger Darrell said...

Nice job on such a hilly course. Huge Congrats to Brent on #1. I hope he feels better about it now.

2nd marathon in your 2nd state. Up next TN. Looks to me like a 50 stater in the making.

 
At 11:01 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Great race report, the scenery is beautiful too. Poor Brent, I think he was not a happy camper those last few miles - good thing he has you, you rock!

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger Firefly's Running said...

First, the T&T report...DOUBLE HOLY S***!! Wow!

As for the race report, AWESOME job!

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Cliff said...

Pic of pre-race blister...oh priceless :)

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger jeanne said...

awesome!! i feel for brent. oh yes. i have been there. I feel for you too, cuz pretty much nothing you could have said would have gone over well when you're in that very bad place!

you can tell him for me (or i can tell him i guess!) that the next time around, it DOES get easier, and he'll be happier! Good for you for sticking with him! super cute marathon: CHECK!

 
At 5:36 PM, Blogger susie said...

Fun report, Rachel!! Isn't it so great to race with someone you love:)
Congrats!!

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger TriSaraTops said...

Great pics! Sounds like a TOUGH race! Yay to you and Brent! Now rest up and get thee to a massage! :)

 
At 5:10 AM, Blogger LPM said...

Rae:

Send me an email at lpm@wardandsmith.com. I'm writing an article on the Flying Monkey for "Marathon & Beyond," and I'd like to send you some questions -- if you don't mind going on the record.

LPM

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger kivster said...

congrats to both you guys! the marathon seemed to be as cute as you had described it a while back! glad you guys were able to finish it together - that's so sweet! it was a great RR - felt like i was there without the pain of having to run it.

now that you guys got 1 done together - only 77 more until you catch up with that couple!

congrats guys!

p.s. thanks for the encouraging words on my blog

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger BuckeyeRunner said...

Great recap! This 'thon sounds tough! That race time is SOOO great!! You guys rock! Congratulations!!

 
At 5:49 PM, Blogger Hilda said...

You guys ran a great marathon, with all those hills and still supporting that pace, incredible!

Looks like a great place to run despite not very crowded for the cheers.

Now you are a proud second marathoner! Congratulations!

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Just12Finish said...

Take Brent to the beach ... he deserves it, and so do you!

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

Rock on you guys! What a great job. You can always tell when you are just about done in a marathon and that's when you start talking about food!

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger Bex said...

Excellent race report, and great pix of you guys running! Very scenic. And congrats to Brent on completing his first marathon. One of many, methinks ...

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I <3 your photos

 

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